Elvis in concert in Memphis, July 1956. A flashbulb went off in the audience just as Wertheimer took the photo. 
Photos: 2013 Alfred Wertheimer. Courtesy TASCHEN

The King of Rock'n'Roll is born 
The making of Elvis, behind the scenes
By Alfred Wertheimer • TASCHEN• Spring 2013 

“Elvis who?” was photographer Alfred Wertheimer’s response when, in early 1956, an RCA Victor publicist asked him to shoot an up-and-coming crooner from Memphis. Little did Wertheimer know that this would be the job of a lifetime.  At just 21 years old, Elvis Presley was about to become an international legend, and trailing him like a shadow, Wertheimer was given unlimited access to get up close and personal.  From the gyrating on stage to seducing young women in dark hallways, Elvis allowed the photographer to record his every move. Wertheimer took nearly 3,000 extraordinary photographs of intimacy and unparalleled in its scope, Wertheimer’s Elvis project immortalized a young man in the very process of making history. (Just a month after he shot Elvis recording the “Don’t Be Cruel”/“Hound Dog” record, it became the first ever song to top all three Billboard charts.)
This collector’s edition of 1,706 numbered and signed copies by Wertheimer, highlight his most remarkable shots from 1956, as well as a selection of his 1958 pictures of the star being shipped off to an Army base in Germany. Nearly half of the photographs in this book have never been published before. Each chapter is illustrated with an original poster created especially for this book by Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest letterpress print shops in America which helped define the imagery of country music in the 1940’s and Rock and Roll (including many early Elvis posters) in the ’50’s. Fans of photojournalism, portraiture, and, of course, the King himself will covet this collector’s volume.


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